AMES, Iowa – As harvest season is wrapping up, small food businesses in Iowa are busy baking pumpkin pies and canning fresh blackberry jam. Part of the food supply chain, Iowans who produce and sell goods from their homes are known as home-based kitchen operators.
According to a new law, HF 2431, which passed in Iowa in June 2022, there are two types: cottage food operators and home food processing establishments. The new law, sometimes called the cottage food law, changes the regulations and licensing information for home-based kitchen operators. Previously there was licensing only for home bakeries. The new licensing has broadened to include other home food processing establishments. The new law also expands what they are able to produce and sell from their own homes.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers online training in food safety, food preparation and Iowa rules and regulations designed specifically for both types of home-based kitchen operators in Iowa, according to Shannon Coleman, associate professor in food science and human nutrition and a human sciences extension specialist at Iowa State.
The Home-Based Kitchen Operations: Regulations and Food Safety Course is available online 24/7 in Moodle, an online learning management system.
“Iowa has unique laws that do allow for some foods to be sold out of the home or at a farmers market,” said Coleman. “The online learning modules in this course have been tailored specifically to Iowa’s laws and regulations and also include food safety information that can be used in production and at the point of sale. Our training is also listed as one of the approved trainings to obtain a home food processing license.”
The Home-Based Kitchen Operations: Regulations and Food Safety Course modules address Iowa regulations and licensing and food safety procedures from preparation to point of sale. Topics include, but are not limited to, food safety basics, labeling information, foodborne pathogens, foods that do and do not require temperature control for safety, and record-keeping.
Interested food businesses may register online at https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/16554. The cost of the training is $35. Food businesses that completed the previous in-person and online home-based kitchen operator training (before training was required for licensing) may enroll in the approved online training at no cost. Please contact Shannon Coleman at email@example.com or 515-294-9011 to register or for more information.